In recent weeks we have received several enquiries regarding EWS1 Forms which relate to assessing the flammability of cladding on existing buildings. The EWS1 form is required by mortgage lenders as part of the conveyancing process. You can view the EWS1 form from RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) here.
The form splits the assessment into two options; Option A "where external wall materials are unlikely to support combustion" and Option B "where combustible materials are present in the external wall".
The first (Option A) applies where the ‘primary materials’ (i.e. the cladding material and the form of insulation) used in the external wall system are known to be of limited combustibility (as defined in BS9991:2015). Under this option a competent professional (i.e. Chartered Building Surveyor) will have to certify that the external wall system contains materials of limited combustibility that do not support combustion. In addition to this the competent professional is required to certify that cavity barriers have been installed correctly within the external wall. Finally, having satisfied themselves of both these issues, the competent professional is then required to consider whether any attachment to the external wall (such as balconies) contain no significant quantities of combustible materials or require remedial works.
The second option (Option B) applies where the ‘primary materials’ includes material that is not of limited combustibility. Under this option a Fire Engineer (or equivalent) is required to confirm through an appropriate risk assessment that the fire risk is sufficiently low or that remedial works are required. In terms of reaching that assessment of the risk, EWS1 provides that the Fire Engineer is required to consider whether the external wall system:
Essentially the Fire Engineer is being asked to certify that the building complies with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations applicable to the building.
The information for the blog post has been supplied by The Bailey Partnership. If you require a firm to complete an EWS1 form, please contact the Bailey Partnership:
Tel: 01752 229259